A coalition of left-leaning Wisconsin groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to throw out several laws passed by the Republican-led legislature after the November election that weakened the powers of the newly elected Democratic governor.
The groups, including the state League of Women Voters and other advocacy organizations, said the unusual lame-duck session was illegally convened, which would make any legislation approved during the session unlawful.
Outgoing Republican Governor Scott Walker signed the bills into law in mid-December, despite criticism from Democrats that the efforts were a last-minute power grab before Democrat Tony Evers, who defeated Walker, took office this month.
Republicans defended the moves, and similar maneuvers in Michigan and North Carolina, as good-faith efforts to ensure the legislative and executive branches remain equals and to improve state policies.
The Republican majority leader in the Wisconsin Senate, Scott Fitzgerald, called the lawsuit “frivolous,” and said both Democrats and Republicans have convened extraordinary sessions to pass legislation.
“This is nothing more than liberals yet again throwing a tantrum,” he said in a statement.
The legislation would give lawmakers, rather than the executive branch, the power to decide whether to withdraw the state from lawsuits. That measure is aimed at preventing Evers from following through on campaign promises to end Wisconsin’s challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
The lawsuit was filed in state court in the capital, Madison. While it aims to help Evers, he is named as a defendant in his current role as governor. The lawsuit notes that Evers’ predecessor, Walker, was responsible for the relevant actions.
Republicans, who continue to control both chambers of the legislature, passed the bills around dawn on Dec. 5 following an all-night session, after protesters crying “shame” packed the halls of the capitol building the day before.
In Michigan, Republicans pursued a number of bills restricting the powers of incoming Democrats, though some of the most controversial measures either did not pass the legislature or were vetoed by outgoing Republican Governor Rick Snyder.
The lame-duck moves were reminiscent of North Carolina Republicans’ last-gasp efforts in 2016 to weaken the incoming Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, much of which has been tied up in court challenges ever since.
North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature pushed through a voter identification law in a lame-duck session in December, overriding Cooper’s veto. Republicans no longer have a veto-proof majority in 2019.
Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis
Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe
On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.
Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!
Trump offers to guarantee bail for rapper A$AP Rocky
US President Donald Trump offered Saturday to guarantee the bail of rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on suspicion of assault following a street brawl.
Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who he said gave assurances that the singer would be treated fairly.
"Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Trump wrote.
There is no system of bail in Sweden.
Trump said he and Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next 48 hours.
Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, to be freed since his arrest on July 3 following the fight on June 30.
The best Civil War movie ever made finally gets its due
On Sunday and on July 24, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.
The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue.